Interpol joins Kenya in Ivory probe
11 May 2015, 21:42
Mombasa - The Kenya government on
Monday said they have involved Interpol in the probe of three tonnes of ivory
smuggled through the port of Mombasa that was seized in Thailand.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment Professor Judi Wakhungu
confirmed that the agency has shared crucial information about the consignment
that was sneaked from the port unnoticed.
Wakhungu said Interpol is working with an interagency team
formed to probe the alleged cartel of illegal ivory trade.
The team comprises Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya
Revenue Authority (KRA), National intelligence Unit (NIS), Directorate of
Criminal department and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
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"We are at a very advanced stage with this
investigation to find out where the gaps were and who the perpetrators are. We
will be receiving news of arrests very soon," Wakhungu said.
Wakhungu said the probe is ongoing in Bangkok and in Mombasa
respectively. The detectives are narrowing on companies involving in clearing
the containers from the entry to exit point without detections.
The 511 pieces of ivory was found on April 25 in a container
disguised as tea leaves transported from Mombasa to Thailand.
The team will also investigate claims that part of the
consignment was court exhibits that were stolen and reshipped to Bangkok.
Thai authorities have been quoted saying part of the tusks
were exhibits that were seized in Asian Market and sent back to Africa as part
of international investigation.
Mombasa County commissioner Nelson Marwa said the government
demands answers on how the container loaded with ivory was shipped out of the
Marwa said heads must role and those responsible will be
arrested to face the law.